Posts by Dylan Reeve

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to brin murray,

    I will say this: Paul Henry calling Dotcom ‘the fat German criminal’ on mainstream TV on election night, shows a comfort with contemptuous and near hate-filled xenophobia which can only come from a culture embedded deep within his organisation.
    Xenophobia is close kin to racism, pure and simple. I find it deeply disturbing that TV3 apparently finds this acceptable. It is frightening that this orchestrated hate campaign exists at all, and then that it is focused on Dotcom’s being foreign as a key element of untrustworthiness/unlikeability.

    I'm not convinced the foreignness is a *huge* part of it... I think the bigger part is his questionable moral/criminal history (and present) and how conspicuously he was trying to influence the election.

    The fact he isn't a citizen is certainly part of it, however if everything else were the same but Dotcom had been born in Matamata I think the spin, fear and outcomes would be very similar.

    National were very successful with their message of "don't let this millionaire criminal hijack our election" - and probably quite predictably so.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to SteveH,

    There’s a pretty easy counter for that particular example. If the minimum wage is not a living wage then those people on minimum wage need to be topped up with benefits. Thus a lower (or no) minimum wage is in fact corporate welfare. I thought you were against corporate welfare Dr Whyte?

    But that's countered by the common sense idea that working harder earns more money. A lower minimum wage "creates more jobs" which increases competition making thus naturally driving up wages.

    It's not necessarily right, but it makes sense.

    And minimum wage is just one example - I honestly think the majority of right wing policy - especially fiscal - is rooted in this intuitive common sense sort of stuff which therefore is so much easier to promote and defend.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to tussock,

    No. That’s their presentation, not their fact.

    But the point is that their ideas, whether right or wrong, are simple and intuitive. They just make sense.

    Complex but well evidenced alternatives aren't a great counter to that. Look at Jamie Whyte's argument against raising the minimum wage in the Campbell Live minor leaders dinner... It makes sense that raising the cost of something (human labour) will reduce demand (jobs) for that thing. The reality is that it doesn't, but that isn't intuitive so in that discussion it's too hard to present the alternative point of view.

    I think that broadly holds true of a lot of right wing policy, and I'm not sure how you combat something like that... Because the alternative is complex.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    More than one National voter I have spoken with would have voted Green if they had not ruled out working with National.

    Didn’t the Green’s specifically not rule out working with National?

    Not sure how independent they can be when they clearly have a financial policy outlook that is quite far from National’s.

    Edit: The Greens could work with National... But then, oh no, five days later, no way!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts,

    Not entirely sure this is the thread for it.... But I have this broad theory about left-wing vs. right-wing political theory...

    It seems to me, from an entirely shallow and unscientific analysis, that right-wing policy is generally built around "common sense" - they ideas at the core of much right-wing policy are predicated of simple common sense thinking. From things like lowering tax to privatisation, from minimum wage and employment relations...

    The ideas they express just make sense when they're outlined... Reduce taxes, because we are better at spending our money than the government... Privatise things because companies will be motivated to be more efficient by the lure of profit... Raising minimum wage will mean companies lay off staff... Make it easier for companies to hire and fire people so they can be more efficient and flexible...

    All those things are simple and seem intuitive. You hear someone like Jamie Whyte or Colin Craig express those ideas and there's a definitive "well, of course" sensation...

    On the other hand, left-wing ideas seem, in general, to be more complicated and sometimes unintuitive...

    It seems that left-wing parties have a much harder task in clearly explaining and justifying their policies in the face of the right-wing common sense ideas. And, frankly, they don't seem very good at it.

    This is only something that's really occurred to me in the last few weeks, but in seeing the campaigning from the right (especially Conservatives, where every policy outline ended with some variation on "it's just common sense") it really looks like they know how to make this work for them.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to DeepRed,

    To what extent do polling companies and horse-race journalism influence voter behaviour, as opposed to merely reporting the news? We need nothing less than a Royal Commission a la Leveson/Finkelstein to find out.

    The more I think about polling the more I simply can't see the point in it. At best it offers us a pointless prediction about the outcome of an event that is going to end up the way it does, regardless.

    We get nothing from a poll besides an inaccurate and ultimately pointless snapshot of opinions that may well change anyway. The stories that are generate from these polls are equally pointless - they offer no substance and are reporting on imaginary figures that then hopefully further influence the imaginary figures.

    At worst polls affect the outcome of the election they are supposed to measure. Surely some percentage of people make their decisions (who to vote for, whether to vote at all) based, at least partially, of the results of polls that are meant to predict those same peoples' actions.

    I honestly can't see any good reason to have published polls like that during the election.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Evidence that Rodney Hide sent “dodgy texts” to a young woman, or was putting an allegation of sexual harassment out there just acceptable collateral damage? I think that’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask of Hager, whether you like Hide or not. And given Slater’s rather irregular relationship with the truth, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope Hager did some due diligence on what he decided to publish.

    Hager's book is about the political machinations of these players. If they, in their own communications, outline this plan then that is the story that Hager is telling.

    Should he have not included the story of this apparent serious interference in the leadership of another political party because to do so would be exposing a unverifiable claim about the leader of that party?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to steven crawford,

    Is it true that Hager might be forced to reveal his source, because it’s a book not news?

    Well in the case of Fisher's Dotcom book it was rule that journalistic protection didn't apply because it was a book, so potentially.

    But if I understand it correctly Hager claims not to know the source - that the information arrived anonymously in the post on a USB flash drive. That's a pretty solid dead end for anyone trying to force information from him.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Picking Finney as their speed reader was just insane really. I mean his entire livelihood is dependent on maintaining a good relationship with government - his interest could hardly be more conflicted unless he were actually named in the book.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Hebe,

    In Korea. Or is it Israel?

    Yeah, that's bloody weird. In his initial post about the book he definitely said he'd just arrived in Israel. Now it reads Korea.

    It seems hard to confuse the two - could it have been some sort of crazy Autocorrect freakout if he was writing on his cellphone?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 219 posts Report Reply

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